Featured

You’re probably wondering why I’ve called you all here

It was actually the cookies that called you

My hope is to create a site where people can find recipes that are easy to make and that give them a foundation to build on. I hate YouTube videos that ramble on and on without cutting to the chase. I’m still not sure how much I can condense the process of making a soup or bagels and still get across what you need to know. The beauty of modern media is that we can update things more easily now and if I get off course, you can let me know.

I’m working on several videos for making soups that will be coming out soon, and one on making the cookies pictured above. Stay tuned for further developments in this late breaking story. Film at 11.

Vegetable Soup w/ Tofu

Grilling the tofu helps hold it together and adds to the mix of textures in this simple soup.

Ingredients
48oz vegetable broth
1 zucchini
1 bell pepper
2 tomatoes
2 carrots
1/2 onion
1 tablespoon pizza seasoning (italian seasoning with crushed red peppers)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
14oz package extra firm tofu
Sesame oil

This recipe can be cut in half quite easily. The tofu was also available in a split package.

Pour 1qt of the broth into a pan and place on medium heat. The rest will be added later. If you are planning on freezing, add some when you heat it back up.

I sliced the carrots, but they could also be cubed. Chop the onion and pepper, and put all of these into the broth to cook first since they will need longer to soften than the zucchini and tomatoes.
Add the salt, pepper, pizza seasoning (or alternatively, italian seasoning and a pinch of crushed red pepper – go easy on that, a little goes a very long way), and the garlic. I used 2Tbsp, but you might like your soup less ‘exciting’ and 1Tbsp and no crushed red pepper might be more to your liking.

While that begins to cook, slice the zucchini and cut the tomatoes into large cubes. I cut them in half, then 3 slices lengthwise and 4 across for the romas I used. These will be added later when the carrots are just soft enough to cut in half with a spoon in the pan.

Drain the tofu. I cut some slits in the package to do this. Let it sit on a small plate to let a little more of the moisture come out while the carrots, onions and bell peppers cook.

When the carrots have softened, add the zucchini and tomatoes. I tend to cook with just one burner, so I set it aside with a lid on while I cooked the tofu, and then gave it a touch more time on the burner afterward.

Turn up the heat to medium high. On my stove, medium is 5/10 and medium high is 8/10. Put just enough sesame oil in the pan to coat it. You will be adding small amounts as you go to replace what the tofu absorbs. Cut the tofu into 1/2″ slabs and fry/grill them until they are at brown on each side. Then cut the slabs once lengthwise, and three times across. Smaller if you like.

If you set aside the soup part of the recipe, give it a little more time on medium heat to soften the zucchini a little. If you’re not freezing the soup, or if you like less broth, leave out the extra 1/2qt of broth.

Top the bowl of soup with chunks of the tofu and some soy sauce and dig in!

Basic Lentil-Rice Vegie Patties

Simple lentil and rice patties. About 30 minutes to mix up, 45 minutes to bake. Can also be made as a loaf, or pan fried without baking first. Freezes well.

Pam fired pattie

I used cups/spoons for measuring, but the recipe is designed in parts, so feel free to change things up.

Ingredients as cups/spoons
(see bottom of page for ingredients as parts)
4 cups cooked lentils – you can also use beans or a mix of the two
2 cups cooked brown rice – can also be white rice
1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat – can be presoaked if you like it less crunchy
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup dried onion – can also be fresh onion
1/4 cup “pizza seasoning” – this is basically italian seasoning with a small bit of crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder – again, can be fresh garlic
1 cup grated cheese
4 eggs

This recipe has no added salt

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the ingredients in the order listed above.

Fold the mixture together with a wooden spoon.

You can finish this recipe off at least 3 different ways.
1. Fry them in a pan or on a flat grill
2. Pre-bake patties for freezing and heat them in a frying pan/on a grill or in the microwave
3. Use a loaf pan and slice it. It can be browned by frying/grilling or heated in the microwave later

Fry, pre-bake patties, or make a loaf

Bake for about 45 minutes at 350°F. I like to top the loaf version with salsa before baking sometimes.

The texture of the bulgur wheat in the pan fried/grilled version will be very crunchy unless you let the mixture sit in the refrigerator, or soaked the bulgur ahead of time to soften it up. In the baked versions it softens up in the oven. You can see in the following pictures how firm the loaf version is. Can’t resist putting some ketchup on it.

Variations on this recipe include using beans in place of some or all of the lentils, adding chopped carrots, celery, tomatoes, or other vegies – perhaps apples? Make small batches and experiment!

Ingredients as parts instead of cups/spoons
4 parts cooked lentils – you can also use beans or a mix of the two
2 parts cooked brown rice – can also be white rice
1 part uncooked bulgur wheat – can be presoaked if you like it less crunchy
1/4 part oil
1/2 part dried onion – can also be fresh onion
1/4 part “pizza seasoning” – this is basically italian seasoning with a small bit of crushed red pepper
1/16 part garlic powder – again, can be fresh garlic
1 part grated cheese
For the eggs, 1 egg for every cup of the lentils as a rule of thumb.

I might update this later to metric, but until I do, Google has a great converter built in.

Not Really Chili

The video editing software I use has been driving me crazy (and it‘s not a long drive) so I haven’t finished editing several video recipes for soups. While I wrestle with that, here’s a soup recipe with non-moving pictures.

Time to prepare: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
12 oz. package frozen corn
1 tbsp. chili base
2 tbsp. dried onions
Optional:
Grated cheese
Sour cream
Hot sauce

vegetable broth

Start with the vegetable broth in a 3 quart saucepan on medium heat.

Brown rice, but white is fine

Add the rice. I didn’t actually use measuring cups or spoons for any of this, so measurements are approximate.

Pinto beans

Add the beans.

Dried onions

I dried my own onions in a food dehydrator.

Add dried onions

Add the dried onions. Feel free to use fresh chopped onions, or leave them out.

I like this brand of soup bases

I use the “Better Than Bouillon” brand of soup bases, mostly the vegetable and the chili base.

Add the chili base.

Add frozen corn

Add the frozen corn and stir.

Cover the soup

Cover the soup and let it simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. I set a timer for anything related to the stove in case I get distracted creating blog posts on wordpress.

Looking good

The finished soup has a nice mix of textures. Other than a small amount of salt in the beans, there is no added salt in this recipe. If you use canned beans, they have salt added. I have found that some varieties of ordinary canned beans have less sodium than the low sodium varieties, so check the label if that is important to you.

Grated cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce are all optional

The grated cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce are all optional. This soup is fast and simple to make and it has a nice chili flavor to it.

The dried mandarins

Dried mandarin segments
The peels from 12 lbs of mandarins dried and run through the blender
Closeup on the ground orange peel

Oranges have an interesting texture combination when they’re dried. The outside of the segments becomes like thin paper wrapping a thin, slightly chewy orange candy.

I will be getting some ginger root when I’m caught up drying cranberries, apples, and oranges. I slice the ginger across the root, dry it, run it through the blender, and then shake it through a colander to catch the stringy fibers. Together with this orange peel and some other touches it makes a great tea.

Mac And Cheese

Mac and Cheese

No video today, instead a quick simple favorite on a cold day.

Ingredients:

Rotini, grated sharp cheddar, sour cream, and crushed potato chips. I completely winged it with the amounts, but here goes: I used a 6×9 baking dish and started by filling it 2/3 of the way with rotini. Heated about a quart of water to a boil and cooked the rotini al dente.

Cooking the rotini

After draining the rotini and putting it in the baking dish I switched to a sauté pan and melted a couple of handfuls of grated sharp cheddar on medium heat.

The cheese
The cheese melted

then I added about 3/4 of a pint of sour cream to the cheese.

Sour cream

Continued on medium heat, stirred occasionally until it was smooth, creamy, and mixed together.

Smooth

I then added the cheese sauce to the pasta. The pasta could have of course been macaroni but I didn’t have enough for this.

Sauce on the pasta

Update: it didn’t occur to me at the time because I was in a roll to the dinner I had in mind, but you could stop right here, mix it together in the pan the noodles were cooked in, give it a couple more minutes of cooking and chow down. Cuts 30 minutes off the time.

I fluffed the sauce into the pasta and used two sour cream containers to crush a small handful of potato chips. Use any method you like for this.

Crusher

Covered the top with the chips and baked on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Chips
Oven

…and then it was delicious.

Finished
Dished up
Spoon
Dish

So, there you go. About 45 minutes total. No added salt other than the potato chips.

Working on New Videos

Egg Drop Soup with Tofu

I’ve been dealing with issues with my video editing software, and also with being disorganized when I shot the video that includes the recipe for the soup in the picture. I was bouncing around the kitchen so much because I neglected to get everything out ahead of time that it was making me dizzy and super annoyed.

I’m back to editing today armed with a cup of strong coffee and hope to have a new video up the first week of December. Happy overeating day to all who celebrate!

Upcoming recipes

Beer cheese soup with potatoes and Anaheim peppers

Live that cup

Egg drop soup with tofu grilled with sesame oil, garlic, and ginger

Chicken rice soup

Potato, poblano peppers, and chicken soup (more of a stew really)

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies with almond and coconut flours

Salsa

Tomato, mushroom, and zucchini soup with rice or pasta

Vegetable soup with rice and beans

Grilled tofu with sesame oil, garlic, and ginger from the soup recipe, thus time on a bed of rice with veggies

Chicken or shrimp fettuccine

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started